Fermanagh woman Shelley Cowan defeats Cuilcagh

DESPITE fighting illness for the past 26 years Michelle Cowan has reached the top of Cuilcagh Mountain.

Michelle, known as Shelley, took on this challenge to raise funds for the group she founded, JustUs.

Bed bound for 12 years, she spoke about what it felt like when she made it to the top.


“It was unreal and very very emotional, I didn’t break down I was just so excited when I got to the top, the tears came when I got to the bottom.

“The day was absolutely fantastic, we arrived and got set up, and got our equipment on,” she added.

Shelley wasn’t alone as her friends and family joined her on the climb.

“I had six JustUs committee members and volunteers, there was four of my carers and friends, my dad Fred and my brother David.

“JustUs attendee Kieran Kent and his parents also joined me on the journey, it was just great to have that support and encouragement every step of the way,” she said.

The money raised will go towards the work of JustUs, a group Shelley set up.

“So far we have raised £2800 but there is a lot more to come in.


“The money will go towards helping provide activities,events and trips for adults with disabilities whether it be learning or physical disabilities, it will go towards providing equipment that’s needed, advertising and reaching as many adults with disabilities so they can get involved in the group,” Shelley explained.

Shelley is thankful for everybody who helped her along the way.

“I would love to thank everybody for their support, encouragement, and donations through this entire challenge, to Tracey Lucia Farry for being the lead in it and getting me to actually push my dream of doing it and reaching the heavens.

“To all the girls, Leanne Cox, Julie Burke and Justina who have encouraged me every step of the way and only for them I wouldn’t have got up to there,” said Shelley

Shelley gave a piece of advice for anyone who may be in a similar situation as her.

“I would tell people to never give up, I know it can be hard and difficult but there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and every step, no matter how hard or how difficult is a step in the right direction and it is a step closer to reaching your goals,” she said.

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